How to Select the Best Keywords for Your PPC Campaign

What is a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign exactly, and how is its success measured?

PPC adverts are the Google adverts that you see at the top and the side of the search results in their very own designated space; just like this:


Image courtesy of

Every time someone clicks on your advert to go through to your website, you pay Google a set PPC fee. This fee is based on your chosen keywords, how many competitors there are and the maximum amount of clicks that you are willing to pay for each day. Below is an infographic that explains how Google determines what ads are shown where: [Link to:


The great thing about PPC campaigns is that they are extremely targeted in their efforts – people who click on your adverts (if they are written well, and include the correct keywords) are more likely to be actively looking for your products or services, and are thus more likely to convert.

We’ve mentioned keywords quite a bit here, purely because they are the lifeblood of your PPC campaign; they are what will determine where your ads are displayed, who will be clicking on them, and how likely you are to get a conversion out of your website visitors. The important thing to remember here is that your keywords need to be completely relevant to your brand, products and services.Here are some tips on choosing the perfect keywords for you PPC campaign:

Have a keyword strategy:

  • Firstly, you need to determine what your aim is for this particular PPC campaign. Have a meeting with some of your staff members who are integral to your business, and write a list of the keywords that you believe should be targeted. These can include your products and services, as well as the location of your business. For example, if you are a book store, keywords on your ideation list can include buy books, buy books online, buy books Johannesburg, etc.
  • Consider this – what would your customers search for? If you have people coming in asking specifically for books written by Wilbur Smith, for instance – a great keyword would be ‘books by Wilbur Smith.’ If you’re selling organic skincare products with coconut oil as a base ingredient, don’t simply think of ‘coconut oil’ as a keyword. Include ‘coconut oil skincare products’ and ‘uses for coconut oil’ and ‘buy coconut oil products South Africa,’ amongst others of a similar nature.
  • Determine what you want to achieve. Do you want more website visitors for brand awareness? Do you want more sales? Do you want more leads? Write your goals down.
  • Your PPC strategy meeting should definitely include the budget which you have set aside for this campaign.

Get down to business:

Now’s the time to actually do your keyword research! You’re going to be choosing the keywords that you will include in your adverts. Surprisingly, it’s not actually that difficult when you can use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner (found here [Link to:

  1. Sign into Adwords.
  2. Put all of the keywords that you listed into the keyword planner tool, being sure to include your desired area of business. (For example, if your services or products are only available in South Africa, there is no use doing the research internationally as you will only want South African customers).
  3. Once you receive the information, such as the amount of searches per keyword, the competition, and the average bid price, it is time to choose your keywords, and here’s how:
  • Which keywords appear to be highly searched for, but are still reasonably affordable?
  • Always try to choose keywords that have low competition but higher search results.
  • Ensure that the keywords which you have chosen are as relevant as possible to the landing page that you choose to use for your campaign.
  • Rather choose fewer keywords that are the most relevant and more likely to lead to a conversion, than too many that will not perform well and only end up costing you more money. Remember, quality over quantity.

Once you have selected your keywords, you can set your adverts up into groups – particularly if your targeted keywords are vastly different and advertising different products or services that you provide. When your ads are running, you should measure the performance of the keywords on a regular basis. After all, there is no use paying a fortune for a poorly-performing keyword.

With the right amount of research, insight into your customers and the aide of many helpful online resources (such as Google itself), you will be able to generate more leads, more traffic and, hopefully, more conversions for your business!

If you would prefer to have professionals set up and run your PPC campaigns, and get your business to higher rankings in the search engine results, contact us today on +27 (0)11 022 9830 or

Photo by Stuart Miles